So you’re sitting on the couch on a Saturday night, thinking of what you want to do. Go out for dinner? Not really hungry. Go bowling? But you hate your unlucky streak of gutterballs. Maybe you can go ice-
skating with some friends. Except you know you’ll look like an idiot with no sense of balance. So why not try going to the movies? Perfect. But don’t play it safe.
Drive-in theaters should be your new Saturday night spot, where you can watch a movie in the comfort of your own car!
According to history.com, the first drive-in theater opened on June 6, 1933 in New Jersey when Richard Hollingshead, Jr., a chemical company magnate, perfected his outdoor theater experiments in his driveway. He nailed a screen to trees in the backyard, set a Kodak projector on the hood of his car and positioned a radio behind the screen, creating the first prototype.
Afterwards, nearly 4,000 drive-in theaters were spread across America in the late 1950s. But they took a blow with the invention of color TV, VCRs and video rentals. Only about 368 remain in 2012, but they shouldn’t be overlooked. Most drive-in theaters have fairly low admission compared to traditional theaters in addition to an outdoor view. You can even bring your own food and save on meals.
Next time you’re in the mood for a movie, consider driving into one for a change. Prop up your feet, bring snacks for the ride, invite some friends, and time travel to the 1950s for the night. The best part is you don’t have to keep asking the lady in front of you to stop talking.
Here are a couple drive-in theaters worth giving a try:
1. Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater
443 N. Vineland Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91746
This location is open seven days a week with a variety of up-to-date movies. Adult tickets are $9, children are $3 and on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, you can watch two movies for the same price. If you don’t like the movie you chose, you can just drive over to another lot.
2. Devil’s Night Drive-In
240 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Although this theater is temporarily closed, it is located on a parking structure in downtown Los Angeles, it is equipped with Astro Turf (synthetic grass) and “carhops” (waiters and waitresses) who take food orders to give you an authentic feel. The experience is equipped with great food selection and a must-see view of the city. The only downfall is the theater has showings about twice a month and movie choices are very limited. Tickets are $10 presale and $12 at the door. Try getting there early because it tends to get pretty busy, especially on weekends. New ownership will be determined within the next month so stay tuned!
3. Van Buren Drive-In Theater
3035 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, CA 92503
Riverside may be a longer drive, but with $7 admission for adults and $1 for children ages 5-9, it’s worth the journey. The theater offers current movies and serves Mexican food at their snack bar. Keep in mind this location only accepts cash.